Press release

Dr. Leonardo Chiariglione to be awarded prestigious Faraday Medal

31 October 2012


The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) today announces the winners of its 2012 Achievement Awards.  The Faraday Medal, it’s most celebrated prize, will be awarded to Dr. Leonardo Chiariglione in recognition of his pioneering contribution to MPEG (Movie Picture Expert Group). Today MPEG is used extensively for digital video and media compression and has enabled the modern digital media revolution.

The Medal, named after the revolutionary scientist Michael Faraday, is given for notable scientific or industrial achievement in engineering or for conspicuous service rendered to the advancement of science, engineering or technology. Previous winners have included W D Coolidge (1939) and Sir Edward V Appleton (1946) for their pioneering work in technology. Chiariglione has been recognised for his outstanding and ground-breaking contribution to video technologies and will be the 90th recipient of the highly-esteemed accolade.

“The Faraday Medal is the highest distinction awarded by the IET and Leonardo Chiariglione is a very deserving recipient, says Professor Andy Hopper CBE, President of the IET. “Chiariglione has been at the forefront of a number of initiatives that have helped shape media technology business as we know it today. Among these is the International Workshop on HDTV which he established in 1986 to give direction to the technology.”

Chiariglione still chairs the MPEG standards committee which he set up in 1988. Its impressive portfolio of standardising technologies has created an industry worth several hundred billion USD, and which has been recognised by three Emmy Awards.

From digital video broadcast, to web content downloads and social networking, MPEG technology is now part of the everyday life of billions of people around the world. However, still not satisfied with his achievements, Chiariglione became the CEO of CEDEO.net in January 2004. The company develops advanced technologies and integrates them in new digital media solutions. Chiariglione has also been the recipient of several other awards: among these the IBC John Tucker award, the Eduard-Rhein Foundation award, the IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics award and the Kilby Foundation award.

The Faraday Medal and other Achievement Awards will be presented at an exclusive awards ceremony on 22 November 2012 at The Brewery in London and will be hosted by journalist Michael Moseley.

Media enquiries to:

Robert Beahan
External Communications Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1438 767336
Mob: +44 (0)7595 400912
Email: rbeahan@theiet.org

Notes to editors:

Other 2012 Achievement Award winners include:

The Mountbatten Medal 

Professor Vincent Fusco, head of the High Frequency Electronics and Antenna Laboratories and Director of the International Centre for System on Chip for Advanced Microwireless at Queen’s University of Belfast – outstanding, dedicated, lifetime leadership in establishing the field of active antenna technology for advanced wireless applications, and for his seminal contributions to the fundamental understanding of self-tracking antennas and non-linear phase conjugating surfaces. Professor Fusco will receive his award at the Mountbatten Memorial Lecture at the IET on 15 November 2012.

The Ambrose Fleming Medal for Information and Communications

Paul M Kane, Chairman and CEO of Community DNS is awarded his medal in recognition of his outstanding excellence in promoting innovative system design and delivering advanced technical management of information and communications services to the global Internet community.

Heaviside Medal for Achievement in Control

Professor Agarwal, William Palm Professor of Engineering at Washington University in St Louis, USA is awarded the medal for his pioneering development of Computational Fluid Dynamics methods and industrial grade codes and their ingenious applications to the analysis and design of all categories of actual flying air and space vehicles and for fundamental contributions to computational aeroacoustics, computational electromagnetics and magnetohydrodynamics and rarefied gas dynamics.

Nuffield Silver Medal for Achievement in Design and Production

Dick Philbrick, is awarded the medal for his leadership and achievement in starting and building a highly profitable export-led engineering company, Clansman Dynamics which exports 95% of its production to 40 countries. In 2009 he sold the business to the employees to create a stable base for long term engineering development.

The Coales Medal for Transport 

Dr Robert Pleming of the Vulcan Project is awarded the medal for his leadership of a small team who have successfully restored and since 2008 safely flown the Auro Vulcan XH558 to an audience of over 8 million around the UK.

The Sir Monty Finniston Award for Engineering and Technology

Dr Meyyappan, Chief Scientist for Exploration Technology at NASA Ames Research Center, USA is awarded the medal for achievements and leadership in nanotechnology and contributions to nanotechnology education.

Mike Sargeant Career Achievement Award for Young Professionals

Dr Chris Dent, Lecturer in Energy Systems Modelling at the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences at Durham University entered power systems engineering in 2006 from a background in mathematics. In just five years, he has become one of the leading academic power engineers in the UK, and has established a true worldwide reputation. 

Examples of his work include designing the technical modelling for the first GB statutory generation capacity adequacy study, and advising the US Electricity Reliability Corporation Integration of Variable Generation Task Force on probabilistic modelling methods, as well as many high quality technical publications. He has also made a particular contribution in promoting engineering problems within the mathematical sciences community.

Sir Henry Royce Medal for Young Professionals 

Dr Douglas Ramsay studied Electrical and Mechanical Engineering at Strathclyde University, for the past six years he has worked within the power division of the international consultancy Mott MacDonald.  He has shown exceptional enthusiasm, leadership as project manager and technical innovation in developing electrical design concepts for future Round 3 renewable offshore wind farms. He has been the lead author of a concept design report for an offshore windfarm; developed a suite of technical specifications for offshore electrical systems and equipment; and completed due diligence assessments for offshore windfarms and related assets.

Sir Henry Royce Medal for Young Professionals

John Collins graduated from Durham University in 2007, he is a Chartered Civil Engineer at Ove Arups & Partners in Leeds, UK. He specialises in bridge design, assessment and strengthening. 

His enthusiasm for his work, technical understanding and problem solving skills have been demonstrated in his role of designing a replacement for the Humber Bridge’s main span A-frame rocker bearings. This required a thorough understanding of the bridge’s behaviour, augmented by site inspection and monitoring. Option selection and detailed design was undertaken with construction expected in 2013. John has been keen to share the findings of this project with others, and has co-authored a published paper and spoken at conferences. Much of the design philosophy to the proposed Humber Bridge works has been influenced by John’s experiences on other projects, noticeably strengthening works to Network Rail bridges.

Paul Fletcher Award 

This award is made to a young professional volunteer for outstanding achievement in contributing to the activities of the IET. Rhys Phillips has been a volunteer since he became an IET Member in 2010 and has been actively involved with the South Wales Local Networks and Young Professional Committees undertaking the roles of communications officer and sits on the events planning sub-committee which provides speakers for Local Network and Young Professional events. 

Rhys represents the IET on school visits and presents a weekly science radio show which is broadcast in Cardiff and is available on the IET website. He has also joined the Communities Committee - UK he sits on the Finance Committee and in 2012 was responsible for the planning of the UK Communities Together volunteer's conference and the Present around the World UK Regional Final.